WHAT SIZE HANDGUN SHOULD I GET?
Most beginner shooters assume the "safest" gun is a sub-compact due to its small size. A female shooter with small hands may also find it easier to properly grip a compact or sub-compact than to grip a full-sized handgun. However, it is important to remember that in comparison to a full size, the smaller firearms usually come paired with higher recoil rates due to the shorter barrel length.
FULL SIZE: Full-size handguns are equipped with longer barrel length and a larger grip. The longer barrel length reduces recoil and helps stabilize the gun, making it an easier gun to control even for a user with weaker forearms. If the woman finds a compact 9mm has too much recoil, it could be a good idea to consider a full size instead.
COMPACT: Compact firearms are considered a gun between full size and sub compact. They are often used as secondary weapons for law enforcement and military. Compact handguns have a barrel length and slide that’s slightly shorter than their full size counterparts, while the frame of the handgun is typically the same or slightly smaller than their full sized counterparts. These firearms are sometimes used for purposes of concealed carry.
Sub-compact firearms are the smallest of the three, they are widely used for concealed carry. While sub-compact handguns are portable, they do have a trade off. Out of the three, they are the hardest to rack and have considerably higher amounts of recoil. Check your local laws before considering purchasing a handgun that you intend to use as a concealed carry.